Norway: INDEPENDENCE DAY: Singing, dancing in the streets, fireworks.
WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY. Fat Chance.
1433 -- Duke Henry "the Peaceful" abolishes "kurmede" & "merchet."
1444 -- Sandro Botticelli Italian painter, lives.
1620 -- Turkey: First first recorded merry-go-round introduced at a fair, Philippolis.
1792 -- US: New York Stock Exchange is formed.
1803 -- Robert Surtees, novelist/sports writer, lives, The Riding, Northumberland.
1858 -- US: 1,200 Coeur d'Alene, Palouse, Spokane & Skitswich Indians defeat strong force of Col. Steptoe near Colfax, Washington, at village of To-ho-to-nim-me.
1866 -- Less-is-more composer Erik Satie lives, more-or-less, Paris, France. French composer & pianist. A colorful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde, his work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, & the Theatre of the Absurd.
1868 -- Japan: The Scioto sets sail out of Yokohama for Hawaii, carrying 153 Japanese migrants bound for employment on the sugar plantations. These adventurers constitute the first mass emigration of Japanese overseas. They became known as the Gannenmono.
1872 -- US: Bohemian Club incorporated.
1875 -- US: First Kentucky Derby held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
1877 -- US: Call-Waiting? Edwin Holmes of Boston installs the first telephone switchboard burglar alarm.
1880 -- Gustav Hedenvind-Eriksson lives. Swedish novelist/short story writer, considered the first great proletarian writer in Sweden. Worked as sailor, farm worker, lumberjack, miner & participated in political activities to improve worker's life.
1882 -- Dorothy Richardson lives, Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Her use of stream-of-consciousness technique (12-volume Pilgrimage) predates James Joyce & Virginia Woolf.
1889 -- Alfonzo Reyes lives (1889-1959). Prolific literary critic, scholar, poet, & diplomat, one of the leading essayist from México during the first half of the 20th century. Reyes deeply influenced writers in México & Latin America. Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges considered him the greatest prose writer in Spanish in any era. http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/reyes.htm
1895 -- Katri Ingman (pseudonym of Katri Palola) lives (-1971). Finnish writer/translator, especially Nordic, Spanish & French literature, & such authors as Jean Anouilh, George Sand, Tarjei Vesaas & Henrik Ibsen. Her own novels include portrayals of women who must choose between social acceptability or loneliness.
1900 -- Fundamentalist cleric & leader of Iran's Islamic revolution Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini lives, Khomein, Persia. Even after seizing power, to his close friends, he was still just "Chuckles."
1900 -- South Africa: Following the relief of Mafeking, 26,000 Boer women & children die in the world's first concentration camps — another British first.
Source: [Calendar Riots]
1903 -- US: Cool Papa Bell lives. With daring speed, cunning game awareness, coupled with finesse at the bat, Cool Papa Bell epitomized the game of “tricky” baseball. He raised the once conservative game to an art form. An art form that revolutionized modern day baseball. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.
He batted .400 several times & stole 175 bases in one year. Known as the fastest player ever, Cool Papa often stole two bases on one pitch or scored from second on a sacrifice fly. Satchel Paige said Bell could turn off the light &
“be in bed before the room was dark.”
1904 -- Italy: Repressione a Cerignola (Foggia) di una manifestazione popolare contro le tasse e il malgoverno amministrativo : three morti e 14 feriti. Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]
1917 -- US: Tom Mooney's scheduled date of execution is stayed while case is appealed.
1918 -- US: Sedition Act — watcha your speech in the land of the free.
1919 -- Switzerland: Women's International League for Peace & Freedom formally established, Zurich.
1920 -- Spain: Los de la banda de Köenning capitaneados por Soler "El Mallorquín" intentan de nuevo recuperar su prestigio y sacar a los cenetistas (CNT) del bar de la plaza del Peso de la Paja, interviniendo la policía en el suceso lo que propicio que la noticia corriera como la pólvora, la prensa hablara en esta ocasión abiertamente de los pistoleros de la patronal... [Further Details]
1928 -- Ms-take?: Evelyn Waugh (a male) writes The Times Literary Supplement protesting a review of his book where he repeatedly is referred to as "Miss Waugh."
1930 -- Germany: Mad Max? Max Valier killed in Berlin when a steel-cased rocket motor, fueled by kerosene/water mix & liquid oxygen, exploded as he tested it. He conceived of a rocket powered space shuttle years before one was built.
1931 -- US: Emma Goldman, the anarchist feminist who has been kicked out of the "land of the free," is included in John Haynes Holmes's sermon in New York on "The Ten Greatest Living Women."
1935 -- Dennis Potter lives. British dramatist, novelist, television & screenwriter, whose fusion of fantasy & reality broke the rules & limits of TV dramas. Potter developed psoriatic skin irritation — a condition central to his greatest success, The Singing Detective, a six part TV drama with the unforgettable "Bone Song." http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/dpotter.htm
1937 -- Spain: Beloved & Revered Comrade Leader Juan Negrin, takes over from B&RCL Largo Caballero as premier.
Negrin forms a communist government which excludes the anarchists & begins repressing those elements it cannot control (including assassinations & summary executions). Some earlier revolutionary reforms are rescinded.
Republican attacks on Segovia & Huesca fail. The UGT Regional Committee for Catalonia demands that all POUM militants be expelled from its ranks & presses the C.N.T. [Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo] to mete out the same treatment to the Friends of Durruti.
1940 -- Taj Mahal (Henry St. Claire Fredericks) entertainer, songwriter, lives. Plays guitar, bass, & piano (& like 30-something other instruments) .... has been a farmer, musician, musicologist & a fisherman. http://brudda.com/kilohana/taj.html
1940 -- US: Emma Goldman is buried in Waldheim Cemetery, Chicago, close to the Haymarket Martyrs, her casket covered by an SIA-FAI flag & bouquets of flowers sent by friends & organizations across the nation.
Now in Waldheim where the rain
Has fallen careless & unthinking
For all an evil centurys youth,
Where now the banks of dark roses lie,
What memory lasts, Emma, of you,
Or of the intrepid comrades of your grave,
Of Piotr, of mutual aid,
Against the iron clad flame throwing
Course of time?
Your stakes were on the turn
Of a card whose face you knew you would not see.
1946 -- US: The government seizes the nation's railroads to head off a nation-wide strike. Workers strike anyway, on the 23rd, & only the President's threat to draft the strikers & call up the army to run the railroads forces them back to work.
Source: Jeremy Brecher, Strike!, p229.
1947 -- Belgium: The Revolutionary Surrealist Group is founded in Brussels by Paul Bourgignie, Achille Chavóe, Christian Dotremont, Marcel Havrenne, René Magritte, Marcel Mariën, Paul Nougé & Louis Scutenaire.
1949 -- England: All Eyes? British government recognizes the Republic of Ireland.
"No man is an Ireland"
— Dick Daley
1954 -- US: In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (Kansas), the Supreme Court rules "separate but equal" public education unconstitutional, as a violation of the 14th Amendment clause guaranteeing equal protection of the laws. Reverses the 1896 "separate but equal" Plessy vs Ferguson decision. The Supreme Court previously approved racial segregation May 18, 1896.
1957 -- US: Martin Luther King, Jr. leads Prayer Pilgrimage to Washington, DC — 30,000 (Third anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education decision).
1960 -- Harold Rugg dies. Educator & social reconstructionist associated with the progressive education movement. Author of the 14-volume social studies textbook series, Man & His Changing Society. Rugg was attacked by conservatives & the Advertising Federation of America & the American Legion for “pro-socialist ideas” because his textbooks illustrated American society as having strengths & weaknesses. Many schools pulled his textbooks in one of the stormiest & most sensational cases of textbook censorship in the history of American education. http://www.bookrags.com/biography/harold-rugg/
1961 -- Cuba: Intractorable? Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Premier Fidel Castro offers to exchange 1,167 prisoners captured during the Bay of Pigs invasion for 500 tractors. The United States in its humbleness refuses.
"The source of trouble in industry is that it is full of men."
1968 -- France: Today the Occupations Committee, including members of the Situationist International (SI) & the enragés from Nanterre University, send the following telegram to the Communist Party of the USSR:
SHAKE IN YOUR SHOES BUREAUCRATS STOP THE INTERNATIONAL POWER OF THE WORKERS' COUNCILS WILL SOON WIPE YOU OUT
HUMANITY WILL NOT BE HAPPY UNTIL THE LAST BUREAUCRAT IS HUNG WITH THE GUTS OF THE LAST CAPITALIST
LONG LIVE THE STRUGGLE OF THE KRONSTADT SAILORS & OF THE MAKHNOVSCHINA AGAINST TROTSKY & LENIN
LONG LIVE THE 1956 COUNCILIST INSURRECTION OF BUDAPEST
The Occupations Committee of the Sorbonne was an assembly held in permanent session. Groups of enragés in Strasbourg, Nantes & Boudreaux had previously been inspired by the Situationists & attempted to "organize chaos" on the campuses. Many of the most famous slogans now being scribbled on the walls of Paris were taken from the theses of the Situationists, who numbered only a dozen or so, such as Free the Passions; Never Work; Live Without Dead Time. At the end of 1967, Guy Debord in The Society of the Spectacle & Raoul Vaneigem in The Revolution of Everyday Life presented the primary ideas & attitudes of Situationist theory, & these exerted a widespread influence in France during the 1968 rebellion.
1968 -- France: Several thousand students march for the second time in 24 hours from the Sorbonne to the Renault works in spite of the opposition of the trade unions which are afraid of revolutionary contamination.
17 mai 68 Grève à l'usine Renault de Boulogne-Billancourt.
This evening the "mad ones" also affect the TV industry, & France is faced with a radio & television stoppage.
The take over of factories & paralysis of government is the nation's most severe revolt since the 1871 Paris Commune.
In the next few days, sit-in strikes spread through the engineering & chemical industries, coal mines cease production, & mass transit, rail travel & postal service come to a standstill. The strike also spurs middle-class professionals, including civil servants, teachers & television workers to strike.
Over 10 million workers are involved with occupations in 120 factories.
In a gesture of non-violent protest, a group of students squatted in the middle of Tavistock Square to protest against the hypocrisy of the government; Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Wilson was unveiling a statue of Gandhi in commemoration of his (Gandhi's) birth.
The suspensions on three Essex students were lifted. Enfield College dropped the foreign quota plan. A country landowner offered his estate in Shropshire for a multiracial housing centre.
1968 -- Greece: The Greek Left refuses to be responsible for the safety of tourists in Greece. The two main underground movements, Democratic Defense & the Patriotic Front, have issued a joint statement warning that tourists will be considered as sympathetic to the régime.
1968 -- Spain: A red flag flies for three hours at the University of Madrid; also today, 200 black students occupy the administration buildings of Dower University.
[Details / context]
1968 -- US: 117 arrested at 114th Street SRO during Columbia University student occupations.
[Details / context]
1969 -- "My Wife, My Dog, My Cat," by Maskman & The Agents, hits #92.
1970 -- High Seas: Thor Heyerdahl crosses the Atlantic on the reed raft Ra.
1970 -- US: 100 protesters stage a "die-in" in downtown Seattle, Washington to protest shipment through Seattle of Army nerve gas being transported from Okinawa to the Umatilla Army Depot in eastern Oregon.
1972 -- Italy: Milan police chief Luigi Calabresi, in charge at the time police "suicided" the anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli on December
15, 1969, is assassinated. Three militants of the extreme left, Adriano Sofri, Giorgio Pietrostefani & Ovidio Bompressi, get 22-year sentences.
During this period terrorist Italian Intelligence & fascist army units (created by the US Army from Mussolini's Intelligence) are making bomb attacks & pretending the bombings are by anarchists.
1974 -- US: Only Group Riding Their Hearst Before the Funeral? Symbionese Liberation Army destroyed in shoot-out, 6 killed.
"Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the working masses."
America watches, on live TV, hundreds of heavily armed police lay siege to a suspected Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) hide-out, setting it afire & killing six (including SLA Field Marshall Cinque), but failing to find the principal object of their search — Patricia Hearst.
1975 -- US: NBC TV pays whopping $5,000,000 to show the racist Gone with the Wind one time. To this date, the top price ever paid for one-time showing of a film.
1975 -- France: Les camarades réunis dans ce 30ème congrès de la Fédération anarchiste à Vendôme, (May 17-19th), se prononcent en faveur d’un moratoire. Participants include the Italian Umberto Marzocchi. http://libcom.org/history/marzocchi-umberto-1900-198630e congrès national (Paris,06/1955) (C.G.T. (Confédération générale du travail))
1980 -- US: May 17-19 Black uprising, Miami, Florida.
1984 -- Baseball's Mario Soto throws four strikeouts in one inning — only 15th pitcher since 1900 to do so. The catcher dropped the ball on the third strike. The runner ran to first & was safe. The catcher must hold on to the ball for a third strike call to take effect (or tag the runner, or make the throw out to first).
1985 -- Les Anderson, catches record 97 lb 4 oz Chinook Salmon, off Alaska. With most salmon runs badly depleted, it may soon be a record to catch anything at all.
1987 -- High Seas: Plain to Sea? 37 sailors killed aboard the USS Stark when the ship — in the Persian Gulf to protect Iraq's ally Kuwait's oil tankers from Iranian attack — is hit by an Exocet missile fired by an Iraqi fighter jet. Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Ronnie Reagan later refers to the Stark as "the plane." Iraq calls it an accident. Stark's officers were found negligent on 14 June. US ships were escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers to the Gulf, reflagging them for the US.
1988 -- A Real Horror Show?: Broadway musical of Stephen King's book Carrie closes after a $7-million loss.
1989 -- Going Places?: Longest Cab Ride Ever: 14,000 miles cost $16,000. Sounds like a normal daily commute for many.
1990 -- US: "Jigras" imported as organic worms & wipe out crops — famine threatens. (See John Brunner, The Sheep Look Up)
1992 -- We Thought He Was Born That Old?: Lawrence Welk dies of complications from pneumonia. Eighty-sixed at 89.
1992 -- Thailand: Troops kill at least nine democracy protesters (& perhaps many more).
1994 -- Malawi, Africa holds first elections.
1994 -- Israel: Government officially pulls last soldiers out of Palestinian areas of Gaza & Jericho, ending 27 years of illegal occupation.
1995 -- England: Police raid the London headquarters of Greenpeace.
2001 -- Poland: Antiglobalization protesters hit Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Bill "WeeWilly" Clinton with an egg, Warsaw.
2004 -- US: Starbucks baristas at 36th & Madison in New York City join the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Starbucks adopts a scorched earth union-busting policy & as late as 2007 is still fighting tooth & foam against the union.
2007 -- US: Short Changed?: Paul Wolfowitz, head of the World Bank, & former right-winger for Team Neo-Con, gets punted through the goal posts of life. Wolfowitz is cashiered, despite Beloved & Respected Comrade George Bush's efforts to keep him on, following a serious lapse in family values (putting his girl friend into a cushy high-paying job at the Bank). http://www.peterwerbe.com/bushpages.html
2008 -- Canada: 9th annual Anarchist Bookfair, May 17, part of Montreal's annual 'Festival of Anarchy' begun earlier this month, the largest anarchist event in North America.
2009 -- Peru: In an escalating dispute over Amazon resources with indigenous groups, Peru's military is authorized to support to the police. Indigenous communities complain that some 70% of Peruvian Amazon territory is now leased for oil & gas exploration, putting at risk their lives & the biodiversity of the Amazon. The Peruvian rainforest is the biggest stretch of Amazon outside Brazil. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8054043.stm
"Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out."
— Anton Chekhov
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